First Enslaved Africans 400th Anniversary CSPAN September 22, 2019 6:00pm-7:15pm EDT
>> on american history tv, the congressional black caucus hosts the ceremony marking the 400th anniversary of the first enslaved africans to arrive in british north america. participants include house speaker nancy pelosi, house minority leader kevin mccarthy and historian and gordon-read. this was held in emancipation hall in the capitol visitor center. >> forward, march.
god of our weary years and silent tears, you have brought providential pilgrimage. you us to keep our eyes on and the prize. opportunityr this to recognize the historical importance of the arrival of in atns to the shores 1619. lord, we are grateful for the strength you provided your ebony children, infusing them with a ,aith that wouldn't shrink
though pressed by many. they validated the words of the , darknt poet who said complexion cannot forfeit differs claims, skin may but affection dwells in black and white the same. were i so tall as to reach the pole or to grasp the ocean at a span? i must be measured by my soul, the mind is the standard of the add, the womant also. lord, for the contributions of african-americans to the greatness of this nation in
these challenging and divided times. use us all to carve tunnels of hope through mountains of despair. bless and keep us, lest our feet stray from the places our god where first we drunku, lest our hearts world we forget you. sheltered beneath your hands may we forever stand true to you and land.o our native amen. please be seated.
ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage the chair of the congressional black caucus the honorable karen bass from the 30 -- 37th district of california. [applause] good morning, everyone. i want to welcome you to the commemoration. i want to thank the legislative leaders, speakers, and the choir from howard diversity for taking the time to participate today. i also want to give special thanks to and for the leadership of bonnie coleman for her staff for planning today's event. [applause]
i especially want to thank nancy pelosi. in august we participated in a pilgrimage that hundreds of african-americans take each year, visiting the dungeons where our ancestors were held before beginning the horrific journey known as the transatlantic slave trade. speaker pelosi joined in and delivered a powerful address to the department of ghana on behalf of of our nation. [applause] so today we complete the journey we began in ghana. today's commemoration is a recognition and acknowledgment of the beginning of the 256 year history of enslavement in our country, the. that began for our nation was officially the united states of america and ended with a civil war. a. in our history that was about
the entire nation, at just about one -- a period in our history that was about the entire nation, not just about one region. we celebrate certain parts of our history and the ideals that are the foundation of our country. we have been reluctant to examine and embrace all of our history. can't just embrace the parts of our history that make us feel good, we need to embrace the parts that are difficult as well . the difficult parts don't disappear if we pretend they don't happen or have a hard time believing it couldn't have been that bad. the truth of the past lingers below the surface, leaving us perplexed as some challenges continue to today. all of our history is what makes this country a great country, acknowledging, learning and understanding are the first steps toward collective healing.
the knowledge of the complete american story, hopefully encourages us to continue to fight to build a more perfect union, a union where the ideals of our nation are not just a reality for some but we must make the ideals of our nation a reality for all. thank you. [applause] rise for theat you black national anthem, the words are in your seat in the program. i ask that you read the words carefully because they are very meaningful. thank you. ♪
the honorable kevin mccarthy. [applause] mr. mccarthy: thank you, friends and fellow americans, it is an honor to be here with you and commemorate the solemn occasion. four centuries ago, european colonists propped forth on this continent a new form of slavery aced on race. among its many evils, slavery used people to get control, made it illegal to teach slaves to read and write, up to 1/5 and one third of all slave marriages. it led to many shameful moments by our government, some of which occurred in our own chambers, such as the infamous gag rule. of course, we look back at this period was shame and remorse.
but the underlying values of the american project prevailed in the end. slavery was denounced as an abhorrent chapter of our nations history. , even if it put their safety at risk. one of these individuals was franklin douglas. s, confident that freedom has always stood out for me. he had every reason to hate america for the injustice he suffered, but he became one of america's greatest champions because he saw that it could renew its spirit to appealing to its core and supposed. olde principles contained truths of liberty. using his gift as a writer and
douglass americans to align. it is fitting he has a statue in emancipation hall. i am proud to say he has a portrait that hangs in my office. his accomplishments are an inspiration to anyone who believes in the importance of human equality, hard work, and freedom. where are we as a country now, 150 years after the end of slavery? the congressional black caucus is a great example of the sustained progress. , the largestrs number in its history, represent more than 182 million americans. that is more than one quarter of the whole country. cbc members come from districts and states across the country and our leaders at the highest level of our democracy.
this congress is led by a friend of mine, and i did not meet her when i came to congress. i met her when we served together in the state assembly in california. if you ever ask her, she will tell you i was the first person who told her one day she would be the speaker for the state assembly in california, and i come from the other side of the aisle. my dear friend, karen bass. [applause] perfect andsn't there is more progress to make, but we have taken significant strides in the right direction. iday is an example of that often think of my trips tooth selma with our dear friend john lewis, to celebrate the anniversary of the selma to montgomery march. john walked in 1965.
state troopers met him with violence. 50 years later, he led that delegation. as i stood with senator tim scott and i watched our dear friend john lewis introduce president obama to a tremendous , everybody in that place had a tear of joy at how far our nation had grown. [applause] imagine what frederick douglass would say if he heard about that. the author of the great american novel invisible man said that america's woven of many strands, a fate has become one and yet many. that is not a prophecy, but a description. as we reflect on a solemn chapter, we must think of additional ways to put the many
aspects of our history front and center. there is more work to be done. as individuals, we have front backgrounds, but as americans we share something deeper. with humility about our history, faith in our principles and hope in our future, let us continue to deepen our common bonds and never fail to pursue our nations highest goal, to form a more perfect nation. thank you and god bless. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the democratic leader of the united states senate, the honorable charles schumer. [applause] schumer: first, let me thank karen bass and the cbc for this moving and so important
commemoration. in the midst of the civil war, president lincoln delivered his second inaugural address he said "if god wills that the war wealthe until all the piled by the bondsman to 50 years of unrequited toil shall be sunk and every drop of blood drawn with the lash be paid by another with the sword, so it judgments of the the lord are true and righteous altogether." here,ars ago, they came 20 and odd africans, forcibly taken from their homelands, separated from their families, shackled below decks and a terrible journey to a strange
land, never to return. trade in theslave americas, the first of 12 and a half million men, women, and children brought across the atlantic in chains. it would take two and a half centuries and a civil war before slavery was finally stamped out. before theore descendents of those newly freed men and women would enjoy the full rights of citizenship. 60 years hence, the terrible legacy of slavery affects us powerful,eal discernible ways every single day. this is not history, this is today.
cannot separate the story of slavery from the story of america, nor shrink from the hypocrisy embedded in our exulted document, which the cause of human liberty while at the same time perpetuating the institution most aligned against it. we must be willing today and all days to steer history in the face and grapple with its consequences. for it is the duty of any great nation to recognize the sins of the past, admit them, teach them, but also work to make amends today, sheila, you're right. ago, i listened to
the 1619 project by the new york times on podcast. moved, touchedy by the story of one of its authors, nicole hannah jones. whying up she questioned her father, a black american who fought in america's wars overseas, but because of his race was denied equal treatment at home insisted on flying the american flag outside their house. her father had grown up in the deep south, one of the most racist parts of mississippi before moving after the war to waterloo, iowa. iowa, howin waterloo, her father was denied housing and good jobs at work because he was a black man. didn't sayer, she
the pledge of allegiance or stand for the national anthem, and she did not understand her father's patriotism, questioning how a man denied the full rights of citizenship could be such a proud citizen. but then she remembered a teacher who asked each student in her class to report on their national heritage. the teacher asked, draw a flag of the country you came from and a few paragraphs to describe it. but because she was a descendent of slaves, ripped from her and did not know where her ancestors came from, she simply chose a random flag in africa. she and the only other black child in her class did that and they talked about it.
that experience helped her realize in later life as her father had realized, that , thata was their heritage because of slavery, america was the only country their ancestors had ever known where they were , wherehere they suffered their bones were buried. there was no choice but to to make america a country they could one day be proud of. [applause] schumer: that impulse, a quintessentially american impulse to perfect our union fueled mighty minutes, many spearheaded by african-americans to abolish slavery, extend the
franchise, guarantee civil rights of all americans, and bring the ideals and reality of america closer into alignment. jobs now our job all of our to follow in their footsteps. to unite against the tendrils of oppression and injustice that emanate from our history. in our criminal justice system and health care system, the boardroom, and ballot box, on streets and in schools, for as , our unionave come is far from perfect. what the history books will say now iss 400 years from entirely in our hands. thank you. [applause]
>> ladies and gentlemen, the republican whip of the united states senate, the honorable john thune. [applause] good morning. i want to thank congresswoman bass, members of the congressional and black caucus. there are still some from the days when i was in the house and i had the privilege of serving with as it was nice to see all of you. it's an honor to be here this morning. everyone is familiar with the image of america as promised land. for millions of people who have
fled to these shores, that is exactly what it has been. that is only part of the american story. for the africans who were brought to these shores against their will, the majority of america was not a journey to the promised land. these men and women were not searching for the new homeland. they were being forced to leave one. their voice in this country was spent in the conditions of unspeakable brutality. end of the journey, it was not freedom that awaited them outage. after hundredsnd of years in the desert. we are here in emancipation hall, named for the slaves who helped build the capital building, labored to build a symbol of freedom, that they had no part of in a home for a government that they could participate in. it's essential that we remember
this part of the american story. men, womenmember the and children who are brought to this country against their will, kept in chains in a land dedicated to freedom. one doing the sins of the past. but remembering them is an opportunity to rededicate ourselves to the new freedom which lincoln spoke of, to renew the promise of liberty for each and every american. thank you for having me here today. it's a privilege to be a part of this commemoration. thank you. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the speaker of the united states house of representatives, the honorable nancy pelosi.
[applause] speaker pelosi: good morning everyone. , thanks tog it is the congressional black caucus. chairwoman karen bass, our colleague, where are you bonnie? . thank you, for your leadership. making thisr occasion possible for all of us. we think the congressional black caucus, the conscience of the congress for bringing together leaders of congress in the country for this observance of 400 years since the first reported arrival of the sleeves africans to america. i wanted to be here with -- senatorof several
two. annette, gordon -- annette court agreed -- annette gordon green. it was a privilege to have you in the capital. on the day, we reflect hearts that denied the humanity of 70 millions of god's children. we welcome the unquestionable , resilience,nity newstrength, of a people, a birth of freedom, for our entire nation. hall,in emancipation named in honor of the people who built this temple democracy, we gather to mark the triumphs and tragedies toward freedom. seeking to finally tell the full story. the unvarnished truth.
in these halls, we dedicated statues to sojourner truth and frederick douglass, who have rightly have have rightly taken their place in the u.s. capitol. in these halls, we have a stone marker. if you haven't already, many of you here, when it was dedicated marker foring enslaved people who built the u.s. capitol, giving the world this beacon of hope. here, but in statuary hall, there is rosa parks. i am proud to say many of us here were instrumental in getting that statue into the capital of the united states. that was one of the most visited statues in the congress of the capital of the united states. that statue. she wanted and gave us
instructions. she is seated. in these halls, we join the prayer on the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the 13th amendment, when our nation broke the shackle that he based the american dream of justice and equality. as our democratic leader in the senate indicated, our founding documents left much to be desired, and terms of freedom. thank god they were amendable. we celebrated the 13th amendment. 150th anniversary. the commemoration of the 400 years since the first arrival of enslaved africans to america is one of the most solemn steps in this journey of national remembrance and reflection. this is an important day. it's an important day. the beginning of the slave trade
as a part of american history. how humbling it was to travel with the congressional black caucus to ghana for the year of return. to see that history firsthand. withumbling to be there the chair of the congressional wask caucus, whose idea it to make this pilgrimage. under her leadership. to be there with congresswoman barbara lee, a member of the house to, to be there with john lewis, can you just imagine? i wish you could have heard the responses his name received in the parliament of ghana. what an honor it was to travel. mr. kaiperm, the highest-ranking african-american in the house of of representatives --
representatives. ofhad been so much a part our remembering the unvarnished truth. maybe i shouldn't say this, but when we were in ghana, my colleagues will attest, and there is a large member of the congressional black caucus. for howard university, who sang so beautifully. i have took it with him that i say this, but he wanted to make the black national anthem america's national him. -- hymn. don't tell anybody i told you that. that is just between us today. sites weretragic man's inhumanity was displayed
against his fellow man. we saw crimes perpetrated where human dignity was denied. many took their last glimpse at home for being sentenced to a life of slavery. they kept people in inhumane conditions. above it was a chapel and a church. imagine they could go to chapel and not see the inconsistency of their treatment of all of god's children. that they could go to chapel and divinity existed in every person who was in those dungeons, and how they treated them before they put them through the door of no return. they walked through the door of no return now called the door of return. with a renewed sense
of purpose to confront new justice and oppression. was their honor to see the emotions of our colleagues, the -- colleagues going through that door of return. i said what i said when i was addressing the canadian parliament. niananadian -- gha parliament. what we saw here transformed how we go forward. towe are going to go forward improve the future, we must acknowledge the past. must tell the unvarnished as you see in the beautiful handouts we have. so much more work needs to be done. i know one thing we could do. i know mr. hoyer has prepared for this. he wants to pass the voting rights act as soon as possible.
can, shall we say, take advantage of the beautiful words being said, whether it is about selma or our history and how we have to go forward and do this, as we had done before, in a bipartisan way. america, we rededicate ourselves as a nation and as a people to our ongoing pursuit of a more perfect union. justice.rty and mercy for guidance, and courage, as we seek to write the injustices of the past and forge a more hopeful future. sung byo beautifully the howard university singers.
>> please welcome the stage, dr. janetta cole. the stage, dr. janetta cole. here in emancipation hall, a sacred place, it is a privilege for me to address members of the congress of the u.s. and special guests. we are here to commemorate a in thelar date, an event history of all americans. it was in august of 1619 that odd negroes landed in virginia.
this date is indelibly associated with the beginning of the 400 year transatlantic slave trade. for centuries, african women men ,nd children were kidnapped placed in shackles, and marched onto ships that waited to take this human cargo across the atlantic ocean. one african writer wrote wrote f such crossings. the shrieks of the women and the grounds of the dying rendered almostle scene inconceivable.
the african women, men and managed to survive the horrific conditions on slave ships were offloaded and placed on auction box. blocks, where they were sold to the highest bidder. thus they began a life of enslavement, working on plantations wherein overseers -- where and overseer's backacross a black man's asked that he picked more cotton and a faster rate. and that the right of a slave owner included that women work alongside men, cook, clean and serve as nannies to his children. women do what he said they must do.
in the darkness of night. slavery was a tremendous economic boom for america. slavery thats built the foundation of america's economic might. forget that so much else happened during enslavement. happened that speaks to the capacity of a people to make a way out of no way. it is the resistance to enslavement and the resilience of an enslaved people that we must recognize and honor on this occasion. for example, it was illegal for a slave to be read -- to read and write, but many found a way
to acquire those skills. douglass, frederick used their literacy in the interest of others. enslaved people were forbidden to speak their native languages. they weren't allowed to practice played theions and music of their native lands. and yet, they found a way. a way to hold onto much of their african culture. with patterns, ideas and practices they encountered. born much of the flavor and substance in the music, dance, food, and style that is known throughout the world as uniquely american. the day finally came when enslavement was morally
impoverished. and -- morally abolished. not without the help of white abolitionists such as elizabeth chandler. however, the struggles of african-american people was far from over. -- were far from over. our heart and our bodies were broken again as the promises of reconstruction gave way to a period of terror that involved -- 4743hing of 4000 black people. people between 1882-1968. endured church bombings, harassment, police beatings and animal attacks.
like the brutalities inflicted on so many in the civil rights movement, including honorable congressman john lewis and thers, who marched across pettus bridge in 1965. there were major victories, with the passing of the voting rights 1964 and the civil rights act of 1965 get and yet, african stuck in are still class citizens. black americans are three times as likely as white americans to be killed by police. even though they are twice as likely to be unarmed. black men are more than six times as likely as white men to be incarcerated in our nations
state and federal prisons and the incarceration rate of black women is twice that. today, black american families earned just $57 and $.30 to every $100 in income earned by white families. conditions,lth black americans artist promote -- bear a trip --bear a disproportionate burden. and the resegregation of schools in our country is happening at an alarming rate. why are there such stark differences in the life experiences of black and white foundans? the answer is
in how enslavement and the use of racial discrimination that followed have affected each and every institution in our nation. yet, our resilience and our patriotism leads us african --ricans and the words of the declaration , all men, ande yes, all women, too, will be acknowledged as created equal. now surely we will always leadershipe sterling
like dark dark -- like dr. martin luther king height, dorothy irene and miss rosa parks. we remember there sterling leadership and the struggles of civil rights, women's rights, and human rights. yet, every victory in these struggles required their persistence and sacrifice of ordinary people young and old. children and, allies of all races, religions and backgrounds. and so, we come to the question. us, you and i,of
and all americans of goodwill, country toward a more perfect union? as we continue to perfect our democracy, carrying on the struggles of previous we must own our nations history of enslavement and racial discrimination. as the african-american writer james baldwin has said, not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed that is not faced. owning our history allows us to break free from its shadow.
it empowers every american of goodwill to have the courage to challenge everyday expressions of bigotry and hatred. activistonviolent against systemic inequality. --h inequality not only impress african-americans, but countless other americans, because of their gender. identity, their sexual orientation, class, age, religion, place of origin or disability. the congress of our country has a particular responsibility to enact laws that will bring us closer to the day.
everyone, and it is a good morning because we are in it. our grandfathers might have said it is a great getting up morning. my mama said every day, morning, glory. the risingfaces to sun, they offset the ideas in our hearts that the don held the promise of possibility. warner, thelfree declaration being all free. am the daughter of mary and hugh woodard.ne they lived mighty lives. ingenious, brave, determined,
in thele and loving man lawless times. to the rightful recognition in this nation by speaking their name today in this vaunted hall. i come to this hall today to list into the voices of my four freeman, thebeth great grandmother of w.e.b. dubois. said any time, while i was a slave, if one minute of freedom had been offered to me and i had been told i must die at the end of that minute, i would have taken it. just to stand one minute on god's earth a free woman. core to bed to my standing here this morning between the rightful recognition
of frederick douglass and the remarkable people whose forced labor built this great structure in which we continue to struggle toward perfecting our union. this is not a metaphor. this towering nation was built solidly up on the backs of our forbearers. aversion landscape watered with the sweat and tears of the african cargo ship to america. -- shipped to america. i don't know the names further back. i would like to know the names. i don't need to know the names.
their experiential dna is stamped all over me. i am imbued with their spirit. fire with i am on their determination to live free , to build in this land, and to claim this land. i am their daughter. that, every day, i walked this land enjoy and in the beauty of soul. i live the voice of. jacobs. saw two, i once beautiful children playing together. one was a failure, white child. the other was her slave. her sister, also. when i saw them embracing each other and i heard their joyous laughter, i turned sadly away from the lovely site. lightsaw the inevitable that would fall on the little
girl. i knew how bad -- how soon her laughter would be changed to >> to womanhood her past way was looming with flowers and overarch by a sunny sky. scarcely one day of her life had been clouded when the sun rose on her happy bridal morning. dealt withse years her slave sister? her little playmate of her childhood? she also was very beautiful. but the flowers and sunshine of love were not for her. sin andk the cup of ,, whereof hery
persecuted race are compelled to drink. in view of these things, why are free men and women of the north? why do your tongues falter in maintenance of the right? would that i had more ability, but my heart is so full and my pen is so full week -- so weak. there are noble men and women who plead for us, striving to help those who cannot help themselves. god bless them god give them strength. and mainly, courage to go on. everywhere who are laboring to advance the cause of humanity. truthful, whene speaking of forebears, we must instruct the young on who actually bore this nation. who gave it life. who labored it into being.
that history, that inspiration, belongs to all of america's children. no matter their hue, no matter their parents port of departure or their time of arrival. the great gift from the enslaved people who not only survived the savage inhumanity of the middle passage, the hourly brutality of slavery, the lynching, the gushing, the burning terrors of enslaved is that the and the children of the enslaved, not only survived, they flourished. land, since this the african arrived in bondage, has been a demonstration for the ages, of resilience, intelligence, perseverance,
intuitiveness, discipline, and self actualization. we mark this truthful occasion without my sister elder, our newly, newly our ancestor, sister my angelo. angelou. she said, you may write me down in history with your twisted bitter lies. you may trod me in the very dirt, but still, like the dust, i rise. does my sassy nest upset you? where are you so beset by gloom? gotuse i walk like i have oil wells pumping in my living room. just like the moons i'm a like sons with the certainty of tides, dislike hopes springing
high, still, i rise. broken,want to see me bowed, head bowed and lowered eyes, shoulders falling down like teardrops, weekend by my soulful cries. does my haughtiness offend you? do not take it too awful hard. because i laugh like i got gold mines digging in my backyard. wordsy shoot me with your . you may cut me with your eyes. me with your hatefulness. air, i rise.ke the sexiness upset you? does it come as a surprise, that i dance like i've got diamonds at the meeting of my thighs echo
out of the hots of histories shame, i rise. up from a past that is rooted in pain, i rise. leaping and ocean wide. , i bear in swelling the tide, leaving behind nights of terror and fear, i rise into a daybreak that is wondrously clear. i rise, bringing gifts my ancestors gave, i am the dream and the hope of the slaves. i rise. i rise. i rise. surely chisholm, marian wright edelman, you are the dream and cap of the slave, calling her neck, you are the dream -
carla hayden, brian stevenson, 55 cvc member strong, you are the dream and the hope of the hamer,- fannie lou barbara jordan, barranca obama, you're the dream and hope slave. howard,ust to become a colin powell. colin powell, you're the dream. james baldwin, michelle obama, you're the hope. diving clover -- dead in glover, mystic,nfrey, made to jay-z and ms. carter, you are the dream, charles, drew, john lewis, john lewis. [applause] every sadie buehler
caledonia through the years and every can you show jamaal and let could time. you are the dream. [applause] and the hope, of the slave. and applause] >> ladies and gentlemen please welcome professor annette garden read. >> you're going to make me follow that? it is really great to be here. i'm honored to be here on this great occasion. as we commemorate the start of slavery in the english north america in 1619. though i say english north america because we know that enslaved africans were in north america before 6019.
as early as the early 1500s, brought by the spanish. there were africans all over the southwest part of the united states, texas, mexico i'm a places that we know long before the first unsuccessful english attempt to found a colony in latere in 1585, and successful colony in jamestown and six tina seven. the notation -- in 1607. the notation about the arrival of 20 on the gross by john rolfe has been taken at the start of the system of stay very -- slavery that developed to change over the course of centuries there is to be -- dispute about the status of the africans. for the immediately treated like enslaved people? or were they more like indentured servants. my own position is that they did not leave the continent of africa with indentures for labor force that. of time. they were taken as enslaved
people. oh, the english were late to the slave trade. following the portuguese, dutch, spanish. they well knew how africans were treated in the atlantic world. and they would have understood these people's origins and what they were bound to the new world to do. there was no developed law of slavery when they arrived, that is true. but one does not need a legal code in order to use power to enforce slavery upon people. custom carries great weight. the evidence indicates that there was an awareness of difference and different treatment very early on. in-serviceand white commit a crime, the white servant had time added to his or her indenture, along with whatever corporal punishment was meted out. the black person received punishment, but there was no suggestion of additional time. suggesting that their time was
already perpetual. you cannot have time added on to lifetime slavery. even before developed property laws along slavery, will gave people the increase of a particular person, meaning their indicating that slavery very early on, before there was a developed code, there was a notion that africans and their children, their descendents would be enslaved. in the initial decades after the arrival of africans, we see laws passed that marked them as inferior, and set the stage is for development of society that , whent into place by 1776 the united states of america was founded. questions were raised and answered. could christians keep other christians in bondage? what happened if an african happened to be baptized? could he or she still be enslaved?
that question was directed to the slur church of england and the answer was yes. baptism into the christian faith did not change the status of the enslaved person. or prevent a person from being enslaved. should black and white people marry echo the answer was no. how did you determine when a person could be enslaved? the answer, look to whether their mother was enslaved. if the mother was a slave, the child would be a slave. , part of separate them onto the most taken from the roman law. that was not the english colonists rules, that is not the rules they came over to north america with. the rule in england had been that you were what your father was. and you could think of what a difference that makes. motherstatus go to the allowed the owner of the mother to capture the economic value when the child was born. women was under
greater control than that of men. and men could have more children than women. allowing status to go through the mails would have created a large class of mixed race free people. this was not a favorite outcome. virginia continued in this piecemeal fashion of writing slavery. and it should be said white supremacy, into law. it was not until the beginning of the 18th century, however, that regina developed a full-fledged slave code. the united there was states, slavery was in place as was a racial hierarchy that has stubbornly resisted extinction. bulk of that the vast the millions of people torn from africa and brought to the new america,ed up in south brazil particularly, and the west indies. scholars estimate that only around 750,000 africans came to
the mainland of north america. out of the millions who were torn from africa. war,e time of the civil that number had gone to over 4 million people. that number has continued to rise to over 13 million people today. it is fitting that we take note of the journey of africans to north america. we have made progress. but there's no doubt that we are still grappling with rules, ideas, and notions that were already put into place in 1619, about who africans were and what place they should occupy in the world. knowing the history of our beginnings, and how we have made that journey up until now, will help us carry the battle into the future. that is the hope. that our free talked about and that my angelo talked about, the hope in the eye of the slave, that we would not forget the legacy, not forget what happened to them, and the debt we owe them that we could be able to stand here and in emancipation
hall and commemorate this very important day. thank you very much. [applause] you're watching american history tv. all weekend, every weekend. on c-span3. announcer: founded in 1607, jamestown, virginia was the first in glhf settlement in north america. the summer of 1619, marked the arrival of the first african slaves and the first meeting of the general assembly. which established representative government in the colonies. tv, aan american history commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the first virginia general assembly. ringing]